I was watching the news recently when I began to feel unsettled.
Now, I know it’s quite normal for the news to leave you feeling less than positive – it is, after all, a collection of the most disturbing events in recent history.
However, these stories made me concerned about our future, not events of the recent past.
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Case in point: drones are being used to ship blood direct to where it’s needed, like the sites of car accident sites, eliminating the need for medical couriers to deal with street traffic and road delays.
In similar medical news, the flu vaccine is being developed into a patch. No longer will you need to front up to your doctor’s office for a scary jab for protection against deadly winter bugs; once fully tested and approved, this patch will be available for you to self-administer the inoculation yourself, via a cheap, easy to apply patch similar to a band-aid.
These both appear to be positive breakthroughs, right?
Drones to deliver blood quickly and efficiently – hooray!
A cheaper, more accessible flu vaccine – woohoo!
But I can’t help but feel unsettled when I think about the what ifs…
What if… the skies become over-crowded with drones? What if precious blood carriages are intercepted, or the tech fails and they fall to the earth? Who is going to regulate the sky, and how – and in 30 years, will we look up and see ribbons of drones travelling through the clouds?
What if… patches that can deliver a flu vaccination, can also be weaponised? All it would take is one person bumping into you with a poisonous patch to put an end to you!
Technology has enriched our lives in so many incredible ways, but we are coming to rely on it so much that we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Just last week, my work had an Internet outage that took two hours to repair. I was so bereft of things to do, I went to shopping – because I literally can’t do any work without internet access.
Technology has made us productive and efficient beyond our wildest dreams.
But one thing we need to keep in mind is this: if it fails, we fail with it.